Surviving the July 4th Party on the Parkway and Fireworks Show

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Let’s face it: living in Philly has it’s perks, but there are times when you feel like you need a personal guide to get through the patriotic holiday celebrations.  Of note, the ever popular 4th of July Party and Jam on the Parkway, part of Wawa Welcome America, can be a heck of a lot of fun, but can also cause a massive migraine for attendees who don’t plan appropriately before and after the event.

I’ve rounded up some of the best tips to surviving the what is billed as the nation’s “Largest Free Concert” and party, which this year features the talent of Nicki Minaj, Jennifer Hudson, The Roots, and more.

  • If you can stomach it, use public transportation to and from the event. SEPTA has set up a special July 4th website with revised schedule information.  There will be detours abound, so be careful.  Check before you go.
  • Follow event social media handles for any updates or delays.  On Twitter, follow @July4thPhilly, the official account for Wawa Welcome America, and @philly311 or @PhiladelphiaGov.  Additionally, make sure you “like” Wawa Welcomes America on Facebook.
  • Timing is everything.  The prequel to the evening’s entertainment, Party on the Parkway, runs from 12 noon to 7PM, and features food, entertainment, and games.  Get there early to avoid crowds (although, let’s be honest: you’re going to be packed no matter when you go).  The concert is scheduled to begin at 7PM, although the first act won’t start until 8PM.
  • Just interested in the fireworks?  They won’t start until approximately 10:30PM.  Visit Philadelphia has compiled a list of the best places to see the fireworks spectacular on the Parkway, including an interactive map.  Besides the usual suspects (Paine’s Park, MLK Drive), the list includes some interesting additions, including Lemon Hill, Bistro St. Tropez, and the Loews Philadelphia Hotel.